Wet Markets, Supermarkets and the "Big Middle" for Food Retailing in Developing Countries: Evidence from Thailand
Summary Drawing on the Big Middle theory of retail evolution, an analysis of secondary and primary survey data on Thai shopping behavior seeks to understand the shift away from wet markets to supermarkets. On all salient attributes affecting retail outlet choice, supermarkets outperform wet markets. While wet markets continue to account for the majority of expenditure on fresh produce their market share has eroded sharply. A bootstrapped bivariate ordered probit model identifies the characteristics of supermarket and wet market shoppers. The analysis questions previous work which perceived wet markets in East Asia as possessing a long-term competitive advantage in food retailing.
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